fish

Undergraduate

BSc Zoology

Explore all aspects of animal life, from sub-cellular level to ecosystems, in a course designed for 21st-century scientists.

Key information

Study mode

Full-time

Course length

3 years

Entry requirements

120 points

A Level grades: BBB

UCAS code

C300

Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Our zoology degree explores all animal life from the sub-cellular level to entire ecosystems. We combine traditional zoology and contemporary biology in a course for 21st-century scientists.

You control the emphasis of your studies depending on what you're most interested in. You can follow your passions by choosing to specialise in fields like conservation biology, animal behaviour, evolutionary genetics or physiology.

Learning in the field is an integral part of the course. You'll have opportunities for residential field trips: recent destinations have included Scotland, Mallorca, Malaysia and Brazil.

Six reasons to study Zoology at Hull

  1. Fieldwork opportunities overseas and in the UK*
  2. Staff include three RSB Teachers of the Year
  3. 95% graduate employability rating
  4. Opt to learn to scuba dive as part of your degree§
  5. Follow your passions with wide choice of modules
  6. Facilities include a 33,000-litre aquarium

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    Diversity of Life

    ​Through practical workshops, this module introduces you to the diversity of life and the fascinating adaptations that enable organisms to inhabit nearly all conceivable ecological niches. 

    Practical Biology

    ​This module introduces key general learning skills and essential practical skills required for a degree in the biological sciences. 

    Cells and Organelles

    Explore the fascinating inner workings of cells, giving you a foundation in areas such as cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry. 

    Principles of Genetics

    Explore core genetic concepts leading to an understanding of how genetics underlies the biological and molecular traits observed in organisms. 

    Ecology and Evolution

    You’ll cover topics such as the genetic basis of evolution, natural selection, animal behaviour, population biology and ecosystem ecology.​

  • Optional

    Science Communication

    This module allows you to learn theory and practise communicating a topic related to your degree, in a range of ways for a range of audiences.

    Dive Training

    Train to PADI Advanced Open Water Diver standard and develop specialist diving skills including underwater navigation, deep diving, photography, and underwater naturalist.​

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Professional and Research Skills for Biologists

    Develop key experimental design and data analysis skills necessary for your degree. You’ll learn how to identify and evidence your skills and experience to help you secure employment in the future.

    Animal Form and Function

    The module shows how ecology shapes morphology, physiology and behaviour in different animals and across different environments, including marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

  • Optional

    Evolutionary Biology

    Explore the development of modern ideas in evolutionary biology, and their importance for understanding a variety of fundamental biological processes. 

    Fish Ecology

    Develop a detailed understanding of fisheries science covering taxonomy, distribution, growth, mortality, population dynamics, feeding, reproduction, parasites and predation. 

    Behavioural Ecology

    Develop your understanding of why wild animals behave the way they do. You’ll study the proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour, and the interactions between animals and their environment.

    Conservation Biology

    You’ll examine current threats to biodiversity and the characteristics, such as life-history, ecology and distribution, that make some species more vulnerable than others.

    Aquatic Zoology

    You’ll carry out practical observations of fish, squid, crustaceans, annelids and nematodes, and improve your skills in taxonomy and identification.​

    Geographical Information Systems

    Develop your understanding of the principles and processes behind GIS, the nature and use of spatial data and the application of GIS on this practical module.

    Genetic Analysis

    You'll take a  problem-based approach to understanding modern molecular genetics and genomics of eukaryotes. 

    Intertidal Systems

    Here we look at the temporal and spatial factors affecting composition and productivity of intertidal systems, and the sustainability of intertidal resources. 

Final year modules

  • Choose one

    Independent Research Project

    You'll have the opportunity to work on your own lab-based project. For many students, this is the highlight of their degree, as it's a chance to show off their skills in a real-world environment.

    Structured Research Project

    Undertake a collaborative research project, working with a team of other students to investigate research questions relevant to your degree. 

    Biology in Education

    Thinking about teaching as a career? Undertake placements in local schools and deliver your own science lesson.

  • Optional

    Sensory Physiology of Animals

    Discover the fascinating world of animal communication to learn how sensory systems control behaviour, and how this is applied to and affected by human activity, including climate change.

    Freshwater Fisheries and Conservation

    You'll learn how rehabilitation processes, conservation methods and legislative instruments are used to protect and develop freshwater fisheries worldwide.

    Field Studies (Biology)

    Recent students have selected from destinations including a dive-based trip in Malaysia and an exploration of the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil (financial contribution required).

    Applied Ecology

    Why can’t we just stop things from going extinct? You'll consider how theoretical ecological concepts impact applied ecological processes such as conservation.

    Insect Biology

    Insects are among the most numerous, diverse and awesome creatures on the planet. In a mix of lectures, workshops, practicals and field trips, you'll discover this amazing, crazy little world we’re lucky enough to study.

    Wildlife Management

    You’ll explore topics such as sustainable harvesting, human-wildlife conflicts, disease and population management through case-studies such as tiger habitat conservation.

    Sex and Social Behaviour

    You'll develop a deeper understanding of fascinating topics such as the evolution of sex, cryptic female choice, sperm competition, sexual conflict, parental care, brood parasitism, co-operative breeding and much more.

    Extinction

    Investigate and discuss questions on prehistoric, historical and contemporary extinctions, from genetic, evolutionary, ecological, paleoecological, geographical and geological perspectives.

    Practical Conservation

    Work in partnership with local environmentally orientated organisations to learn about the day-to-day practicalities of species and habitat management.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Overall workload

264 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

936 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

52%
23%
25%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

228 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

972 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

43%
13%
44%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

120 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

1,080 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

17%
9%
73%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

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Entry requirements

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

Points can be from any qualification on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from 

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications
  • Applicants should have A level Biology/Applied Science at Grade C or above (or merit from relevant BTEC). Applicants taking the reformed A-level must also Pass the practical element.

Alternative qualifications

  • IB Diploma: 30 points including 5 in HL Biology
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass Access to HE Diploma (Science) including 18 credits in Biology at merit or higher

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Our teaching staff

Click and drag

Take a tour of the facilities

Check out our zoology facilities, including 33,000 litres of tropical aquariums.

Fees and funding

Home / EU

£9,250 per year (subject to approval)*

International

£17,200 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

Attainment
Scholarship

If you achieve

112 UCAS tariff points

from three A levels or equivalent, you could receive a reward of

£1,200

Find out more

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Biologist
  • Zoologist
  • Polar biologist
  • Conservationist
  • Fisheries officer
  • Environmental consultant

Many of our graduates go onto become professional biologists, laboratory officers, environmental consultants and microbiologists, often in diving-related positions.

They go into a diverse range of careers with employers such as RB, the Environment Agency, Natural England, wildlife trusts, and conservation agencies.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

*Previous destinations include Brazil, Malaysia and Majorca (extra fees may be payable)

†Percentage of students from biological sciences subject area in work or further study within six months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey for the academic year 2016/17, published by HESA 2018

‡Module options include PADI-certified Advanced Open Water Diver training (extra fee may be payable)